For some reason, when another lives a life unlike ours, some of us feel our own way of life is threatened. I don’t get it, really, since what someone else does has nothing to do with me. But I see it.
Another reason has to do with Biblical literalism, which I find amusing because believers pick and choose what they want to be literal about. And thank God, because I do not want to see stoning in the streets. Or us giving beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish. (Proverbs 31:6) Among other things. Did you know the idea of Biblical literalism is only 100 years old? It was never taken as “law,” even when the Bible was “current.” And the book is replete with historical errors and contradictions. So it’s a pretty weak reason to be against homosexuality.
Maybe it all boils down to a refusal to believe that gay people are made gay. For some reason, some folks like to think that gay people choose to be gay. As if. The logic of that eludes me. It’s clearly not a lifestyle choice, just as heterosexuality is not a lifestyle choice. As long as this misunderstanding about what gay really is persists, people are going to get crazy over homosexuality and gay marriage.
Homophobes are no different from racists, sexists, ant-Semites. Bigotry is all the same, regardless of the “ism.”
As far as I’m concerned, this craziness over gay marriage reminds me of the days –in my lifetime–when people got equally crazy over interracial marriage. In fact, religious freedom was used to justify racism back then, just like it’s being used to justify homophobia today.
Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. People must find some target for their fears, and now, it’s gays.
I couldn’t easily find data from 1960, but I could find opinion data on interracial marriage going back almost that far. You can see how things have changed.
Today, only a few remaining bigots–black and white– go crazy over interracial marriage. The world didn’t come to an end, either, with the acceptance of interracial marriage.
And today, somewhere around 60-63 percent pf Americans believe in gay marriage or believe it is a constitutional right. Of course, the Supreme Court was nearly unanimous on the issue of gay marriage, which is saying something.
I’m not sure why people think it’s wrong for two people who love each other to be married. In reality, “marriage” is a legal and economic contract. Why shouldn’t gay people have that right? The spiritual commitment stuff? It doesn’t require “marriage.” It could be called anything.
Let’s take it a step further. I’ve seen people railing that a wedding cake baker shouldn’t have to make a cake for a gay wedding. After all, if a baker didn’t want to make a gluten-free wedding cake, they wouldn’t be breaking the law. That argument is so clearly specious–plausible on the face, but false. It’s an argument used to deceive–sophistic. If you don’t know how to bake gluten-free, or don’t think it makes a good product that’s one thing. If you don’t want to serve someone because they’re black? That’s racism. If it’s because they’re gay? It’s still bias.
I’m not Christian any more, but I do think Jesus was a pretty cool teacher, if he existed. It really puzzles me how his teachings have become so twisted as to justify hateful behavior and rhetoric.
My safe haven, though, can be found in the charts, above. Times do change. And while you can’t legislate morality, over time, legislation leads to attitude shifts.
I still know a few racists, but far fewer than I did 40 years ago.
I still see homophobes, but far fewer than I did 40 years ago. The next generation will see even fewer.
That safe haven, the knowledge that times do change, is the only thing that keeps me from feeling that the human race is completely hopeless.